The Eritrean Cultural & Civic Centre in Washington, DC is housed in a modest building near the city’s convention centre. Despite its name, it is less of a centre and more of a bar and restaurant where Eritrean cab-drivers, students and pensioners chat politics and chow down on lamb stews served on spongy “injera” bread.
When Barack Obama entered the White House, many Ethiopian immigrants in the Washington area cheered. When he gave a speech in Ghana in 2009, vowing to promote democracy and human rights across Africa, they were thrilled. But now that Obama will soon visit Ethiopia, many members of the region’s largest African emigre group are up in arms.
Before his world was thrown into turmoil, Fasil Tekola lived a comfortable life in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Born into a wealthy family, his father a colonel, he was one of only a few kids who drove their own cars to school. But his family also had a strong connection to the land: They owned farmland along the Awash River.
Spencer Nowland’s journey is by no means over. A recent Coe-Brown Northwood Academy graduate, he has experienced a lot in his young life. Much more than most. His passion for music will send him to the University of Hartford this fall where he plans to major in audio engineering.
When Semien Hagos filled out her college applications, she had to split her attention between preparing for her future and cherishing some of the last moments with her mother by her side. The Lake Highlands High School senior had known for 11 years this day would arrive. Her mother, Fantaye Asmelash, had Stage 4 ovarian cancer, with probably six months to live.